Grave of the Greenbrier Ghost.

Grave of the Greenbrier Ghost

Field review by the editors.

Sam Black Church, West Virginia

Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue, who was called Trout, eloped with Elva Zona Heaster, who was called Zona, and settled in Greenbrier County. The marriage was not popular with Zona's mom, Mary. Trout had been married twice before, and his second wife had died when he accidentally, so he said, dropped a brick on her head.

On January 23, 1897, after only a few months of marriage, Zona, who was only 20, was found dead as well. Trout was very protective of Zona's body, but no one thought much of it until a few days later, when Mary was visited by her daughter's ghost! Spectral Zona told Mary that Trout had been angry that she hadn't cooked meat for supper and had strangled her.

Mary told the local authorities, and they had Zona's body dug up. Her neck was found broken and her windpipe crushed. A jury took only an hour to send Trout to prison for the rest of his life, which lasted only three more years.

Zona was reburied in her grave, and at some later date it was marked with a tombstone identifying her as the "Greenbrier Ghost." Despite its rural location, the stone is a popular attraction and is often covered with offerings of pebbles and flowers.

Grave of the Greenbrier Ghost

Soule Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery

Address:
Soule Chapel Lane, Sam Black Church, WV
Directions:
Soule Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery. I-64 exit 156. Turn north onto US-60, then make a quick first left at the gas stations onto WV-25/Smoot Rd. Drive one mile. Turn right (no stoplight) on WV-60/32. Drive three miles. Turn left (no stoplight) onto WV-26/Farmdale Rd. Drive a quarter-mile. You'll see the church on the left; the small cemetery is behind it. The tombstone, engraved "SHUE," is larger than most of the others and is roughly in middle of the cemetery, in front of an evergreen tree.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Greenbrier Ghost Trial MarkerGreenbrier Ghost Trial Marker, Sam Black Church, WV - 4 mi.
Alderson Lion, Made of JunkAlderson Lion, Made of Junk, Alderson, WV - 14 mi.
Culvert Pipe Hot DogCulvert Pipe Hot Dog, Alderson, WV - 15 mi.
In the region:
Indian Head Rock, Cotton Hill, WV - 29 mi.

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